“When I was a kid, I lived in a modern-futuristic house designed by my father,” recounts Marcio Kogan, the founder of Studio MK27. “He was an architect-engineer who created interesting modernist projects in São Paulo during the 50s and 60s, and ever since a little boy, I would visit the construction sites with him.”
As is the case with many prolific designers, the vestiges of childhood and the motherland have not only never left Marcio, but rather have profoundly shaped the sensibility of this architect hailed by many as the one who put Brazilian modernism on the world map. His distinct brand of structural purity and austere functionality – with regular tributes to traditional Brazilian components and locally sourced materials – seeps through his wide-ranging projects from luxury hotels to residences, including this three-storey home nestled in the urban heart of bustling Lima, Peru. Scroll through the gallery below (Photography: Fernando Guerra) to find out more:
Measuring at 16m in width and 30m in depth, the relatively small plot on which the home was built posed a challenge when considering Marcio's fondness for grand outdoor spaces and the preferences of the homeowners, an entrepreneurial couple with two sons. "The clients’ brief was very extensive and, as the plot was not too big, it wasn't possible to be distributed over a couple of floors." The dilemma, however, spurred the home's most striking feature. "This led us to verticalise the house and create the stacked boxes."
Marcio, working with Studio MK27’s Samanta Cafardo, Elisa Friedmann and local architect Jorge Baertl, envisioned three box-like volumes made of slatted exposed concrete heaped on top of each other, supported by cantilevers which address the region's proneness to earthquakes and give the structure a lighter feeling. Encasing the uppermost third floor is an exquisite ivory-hued cobogó facade, a hallmark of Brazilian architecture that keeps the interiors naturally lit yet shaded. "We used hollow elements from the artist Erwin Hauer to create a texturized membrane that protects an uncovered patio," says Marcio of one of his favourite elements of the house.
Echoing the home's stark contours are the interiors, designed by Studio MK27’s Diana Radomysler and Mariana Ruzante, which were elegantly delineated by sliding doors and wooden panels into programmatic boxes with the same principle in mind to maximise the efficiency of space. These inner boxes flow freely into one another, from the lower volume encompassing social areas, to the second volume featuring a minimalist master suite with its private living room, walk-in closet and terrace, and the uppermost volume with two suites for the children, a living room and a guest suite.
Thanks to near non-existent obstruction between the expansive living room and greenery-filled outdoor terrace decked in Paola Lenti and Stampa Kettal furniture, the lower volume provides seamless indoor-outdoor living rarely seen in bustling Peru.
"Our client was very enthusiastic and engaged in the project," says Marcio of the entrepreneur, who brought many suppliers over to Peru for the first time such as wood from Brazilian brand Plancus and furniture from Paola Lenti in Italy. They complete the home's "mix of classical Brazilian and international re-edition furniture pieces", featuring the Bowl armchair from Lina Bo Bardi, Italian and Scandinavian furniture and some from contemporary Brazilian designers like Jorge Zalszupin, Sergio Rodrigues and Jader Almeida, all accentuated by the homeowner's vibrant collection of artworks.
The home continues to unfold with plenty of impressive architectural elements throughout, from a floor-to-ceiling display wall to the master suite’s timber-lined walk-in closet and the underground pool illuminated by an unexpected zenith opening, all custom designed by Studio MK27.
Perhaps most important to Marcio was that his masterful architecture opened up abundant alfresco and recreational room for the family. "We love this strong integration between the interior and exterior, and there is a constant search for enlargement of spaces," says Marcio.
He also eliminated any obstruction between the living rooms and the outdoor terrace drenched in natural light, lush greenery and timber furnishing.
He also built in a rooftop and a magnificent semi-basement swimming pool, which can be viewed through a glazed strip in the garden next to the living room. "The pool is one space that surprises when it is discovered because it is hidden on the underground, yet is illuminated by an unexpected zenith opening."
With such unique detail and captivating authenticity, Marcio and his team have created a family home that is truly one of a kind.
In contrast to the vibrant lower volume, the upper floors featuring the children’s rooms and master suite have been designed with a distinctly more soothing and minimalist palette, offering the family a restful respite away from the hustle and bustle.
Despite the modern architecture, not a hint of austerity can be found throughout the interiors thanks to myriad warm decor accents that capture the personalities of both the designer and the homeowners.
"We have a playful perspective of space: this is a meta-box project," jokes Marcio.